Affinity Designer on the iPad Pro 2018

This post will be a short review of doing UI design with the Affinity Designer on the iPad Pro 2018 (12.9 inch). This is a first impression post so I’ll probably make additional posts in the future when I learn about more functionalities.

What is Affinity Designer?

“Affinity Designer is a vector graphics editor developed by Serif for macOS, iOS, and Microsoft Windows. It is part of the “Affinity trinity” alongside Affinity Photo and the yet-to-be-released Affinity Publisher. Affinity Designer is available for purchase in the Mac App Store, iOS App Store, and the Microsoft Store.” – From Wikipedia

In short, Affinity Designers is a software similar to Illustrator that allows the user to create vector and pixel graphics. It’s available for both desktop and tablet.

Affinity Designer for iPad Pro

There aren’t many good softwares out there yet for designing with iPad Pro, especially not vector based ones. It’s not odd since it wasn’t long ago iPad + a pencil became a thing. There are some big ones like Procreate and Sketchbook which are more optimized for pixel graphics (drawings) than vector graphics (illustrations and UI design).

Affinity Designer is one of the biggest ones intended for tablet use and optimized for vector graphics which is why I choose it.

UI Design + Affinity Designer

Affinity Designer features some of the most important functions that’s needed to do proper UI design:

  • Create vector shapes
  • Edit in detail (corner radius, colors, borders etc)
  • Work in layers
  • Group elements
  • Make re-usable components
  • Easy grids and alignment systems
  • UI libraries for quicker mockups
  • Multiple Artboards in one document

These functions are already more than what most other applications offer. For me, it’s great for doing static UI design screens and explore with different design elements.

But, it’s not enough for me to completely stop using the computer and only design on the iPad Pro. The reason is simple: Not this one, nor any other app on App Store today enables UI designers to create any interactive components (which is so important in enjoyable designs!). I want to be able to prototype between screens and do simple animations!

Summary

This is a GREAT application for UI design on the iPad Pro featuring multiple artboards in one document, creating groups and components, working in layers, offers auto-snap and alignments and a UI library that you can add your own elements to.

I would even say that it’s the best one I’ve tried up to date. But it still lacks some basic functionalities like prototyping between screens and doing interaction design, which I would require before switching completely from the computer.

I hope you found this post helpful! Leave a comment to share any thoughts

I posted a video on my Instagram of me using the UI library. Click here to see it.

Instagram: @wendy.design
https://www.instagram.com/wendy.design/

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Front-end dev and UX/UI designer

I have thought much about what I want to focus on within web design. Many articles say that UX/UI designers don’t need to know any programming/coding at all, but others say that it is meriting to know some coding on top of design. All in all though, UX, UI and front-end dev all go hand in hand.

And since I do enjoy learning and creating websites using HTML/CSS & Javascript I have come to the realisation that I want to learn it too, as good as I possibly can. That way I can  apply for both front-end and UX design jobs. I am very lucky to have found something that I’m passionate about, but that I also can work with.

UX for Lean Startups – Laura Klein

I just finished reading the book UX for Lean Startups by Laura Klein. It had a lot of good information, mostly about how to do user research and testing out hypothesis before designing using either qualitative or quantitativ methods. I didn’t know much about this way of working before I read this book.

The book also teached about how to design, what to think about before designing, different sketches, wireframes and prototypes. But mostly it was about the user research and testing out ideas part and didn’t say much about UI or graphic/visual design.

All in all, I learned a lot and look forward to receiving the new books I bought! In the meanwhile, I will read and learn more about Javascript and learn more from designs on Behance.

Bought 4 UX/UI books

Today I decided to buy 4 books about UX and UI that I have read a lot about on reddit and other blogs. I’m thinking that I will read these + learn javascript during this summer before I start studying at university.

  1. About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design
  2. Don’t make me think by Steve Krug
  3. The Design of everyday things by Donald Norman
  4. The elements of User Experience by Jesse James Garrett

Hopefully I will get a good understanding of how to work with UX and how to think as an UX designer. There are a lot of other books that I also want to read for example about typography and graphic design but I will start with these and buy more later!

Github and Swift

Today I learned some more about Github and signed up and created a repository. Github is a platform where you can create and share software development. I think it will be good for me to learn and use Github since I have seen the name of it pop up everywhere and it’s a good way for me to actually use the things I’m learning in coding and to see them in action and hopefully get some feedback from more experienced developers.

I also learned more about Swift, the programming language that Apple made. This is something that I am very interested in learning but I think I will go through some more basic Javascript first before going there. But it’s good that I know about it now since it is especially mobile apps for apple that I want to be able to design and create!

Bootstrap and Xcode

Today I’ve learned about Bootstrap, which is a front-end dev. framework for responsive mobile pages on the web. I have a lot more to learn about it but I’m excited to dive a little deeper into coding! I hope that I in a few months time, will not only be able to design and create illustrations of mobile apps and websites, but also be able to code them.

I also learned about the coding app for Apple Xcode, which I will start testing out soon. I think the best way for me to learn is to DO. I have read the HTML & CSS book by Jon Puckett and gone through all the exercises on Codecademy, so now it’s time to start creating my own stuff and google the things that I don’t know yet.